Happy Christmas!! 

A short one today. Firstly whatever your religious persuasion.  Merry Christmas! I’m not religious. At all. For me Christmas means one thing… a time when people get together that little bit more often. Work colleagues gather. We all don hats and a dash of tinsel. Friends that haven’t been seen in too long visit and families give time for walks and games.  Communities gather and we keep an eye out for those that might not be so fortunate.

To finish, going forward I’m going to try  (hey don’t forget I’m not perfect I’ll slip up!!) … anyway I’m going to try and be a bit more vocal about what’s good about people around me and how they make me feel. I’ve had two or three cards this year from colleagues and friends that went that extra mile to say what I meant to them and I was so overwhelmed  at their kind words.  So I’m going to try better about being vocally kind! And I’ll start with you…. Thank you so much, particularly to those who’ve commented and messaged and to those that read in silence. It’s hard to put into words the depth of gratitude I have for you allowing and encouraging me to write. 

Lastly today will be one of sadness and an exacerbation of a void for some, I know for me my heart hurts that little bit more today as I visit Tes in a place I never thought I would. Love and hugs to all of you. Be kind to yourself. As I said to a very brave woman yesterday this getting older lark … And life itself…..certainly brings with it trials and the occasional mountain to climb, the thing is to make those bits in between the best you can. 

Lots of love to you all.
Happy Sunday, Happy Christmas Day xx 

Where’s me?! 

I read a few words that got me right there this week. It was simply a few words by someone that described the desperate  need of wanting  her old self back.

This time of year can sometimes magnify loss. I still love Christmas but of course I still want Tes to be in my Christmas. The Facebook annual review is doing the rounds. Mine was full of favourite pics.  They made me smile. There was none of Tes and for that reason I couldn’t post it. I was actually a little envious of some, that doesn’t happen often. 

So…. wanting your old self back when you’ve been through trauma is natural. I remember sitting with a nurse before the surgery had even opened 2 years after losing Tes and saying those exact words through tears and gulps. I want me back. I want me back. 

I didn’t want to be this person that found every day so tough.That smiled when I wanted to cry. A person that worried  about everything all of a sudden. An angry person. A person without patience.  A person who couldn’t  laugh. 

That day changed me. it was a mixture of the help I got and the fact I admitted that I wasn’t ok. I wasn’t ok. 

Did I get the old me back? You’re  changed forever after some experiences and losing a child has to be one of them.  I recognise parts of the old me but I have a layer of sadness and ‘hiraeth’ (only that Welsh word fully covers it) that I wear like an invisible coat. Every day. I can feel it.  

But…. There is also the new me. Some of it is a pain because I don’t have the same drive to please or be liked which has made me a little bit selfish. I find it hard to be around unwarranted  negativity or meanness and end up taking a big step backwards from those situations.  I strive to be happy.  I overwhelm myself with trying to do it all… but I’m also loving trying to do it all. I’ve become really  good at having some time  for me…..now and again I even go back to bed for an hour after walking the dogs because  …. I want to! It might just be an hour here and there of proper doing nothing but it’s more than I used to give myself. I’m more relaxed about work. I feel way less stressed than ever before. Of course these things may change again. The old me and the new me will probably always keep changing. 

So for those wanting the old you back….. there’s bad and good news. The old us doesn’t really exist to have back. Every day we’re a new me. With that new me we can make it what we want it to be. It may take time and even help but if you’re on that journey I’m sure  you too will eventually find the new you that makes you happy too, in a different way but nonetheless in a new way. 

Lots of love to you all xx Happy Sunday xx 

Santa and the footprint

It’s impossible not to write about Christmas this week. Even if you’re like me…throwing herself into the absurdity of celebrating something that I don’t believe in. Santa?!! I’ve never seen him anyway 😉

Sadly I attended a funeral yesterday and as usual am moved, not so much by the sadness and loss but the love in the tightly packed room. The absolute love for someone who had clearly brought an enormous amount of kindness and happiness into the lives of those close to him.

People say, its so sad at this time of year too. At this time of year many people ask me if it’s a difficult time.

Hard to answer.

Every day is difficult.

I’ve said before there is always sadness about losing Tes but more amazingly to me is the abundant and infinite love I have for her. It is as much as it ever was. I can feel the love bouncing and dancing about in my heart. That love you have only for your children. You can point at it. It doesn’t go.

What do I find hard at Christmas? Standing at her graveside. No, I don’t find it hard . I am angry. I don’t want to stand there putting something I’ve had to buy because to be honest I think I should. I’m cross with it. I’m cross with the present sitting on a cold stone unopened. I’m cross even writing it down!

So, yes, that is difficult. Not having her here every second is difficult.

There is a but…..with the inevitable ton of heavy guilt that I drag around… I still love Christmas.

I’m not sure I’ve ever cherished my life more than I do now. I’m not sure I’ve ever been able to motivate myself more. I’ve certainly not put myself first like this before. I’ve faced the toughest decisions and survived. I don’t think I’ve looked after myself physically as well, ever. I’ve also made huge leaps to protect my emotional health. I am more selfish in that if I don’t want to do something I won’t. I’m more honest than ever and if it all gets a bit much I’ll take a breather rather than carry on. I say sorry more. I try to help people make their own decisions without it being about what I think they should do. I’ve learnt to laugh again. Proper laugh. And I love those I love and I don’t just tell them. I love them.

I’ve still got a way to go though! I’m still trying to fit 25 things into a 24 hour day. I still like too many glasses of wine and I probably still spend too much time on social networking! I’m still fiesty and opinionated and naggy at times! I don’t cook everything from scratch and I eat too much cheese!

Nobody is perfect! ! Not even Santa!

That’s life isn’t it. Not perfect. Experiences change us.

Yesterday brought back to me that when we are gone it’s the impact we have on others that is our everlasting footprint.

So in the spirit of Christmas, whether you’re a believer or not. Be merry, be kind, love and be loved, hug, kiss, squish, smile, laugh, cry, walk, talk, dance, listen. Be you. X